Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today designated 27 counties in Oklahoma eligible for federal disaster funds to supplement state and local response efforts to the severe ice, sleet and winter storms that hit the state beginning December 25, 2000.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt took the action after President Clinton authorized the assistance under an emergency declaration issued this afternoon. Under the declaration, federal funds will be available to the state and affected local governments in the 27 counties to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal and emergency services related to the storm.
The counties designated for assistance include Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Cleveland, Coal, Garvin, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, LeFlore, Latimer, Love, Marshall, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Seminole and Sequoyah. Witt indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
C. Michael Butler of FEMA was named by Witt to coordinate the federal relief effort. Butler said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.